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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beach Week...How to Paint a Sunny Day

'Under the Palms'           9x12           pastel         ©Karen Margulis      $160 purchase here

It's Beach Week on the blog!  I have been working on some beach paintings and just had a class on painting the beach.  I had my students write down 2 questions they had about painting beach scenes. I got some great questions!  To celebrate summer I thought it would be fun to answer some of their questions on the blog. I will be posting the questions and answers for the next few days so be sure to check back!

Question One:  How do you get the feeling a warmth or sunlight in your beach paintings?

Good question! If you want your sunlit areas to really looked 'kissed by the sun' then it helps to pay attention to the values in the painting.  So that means making sure you have a contrast in your values.....your light areas will look lighter and brighter if they are next to a rich dark area.
Another thing to try is to make the areas in sunlight warmer and not necessarily lighter. For example notice the warm orange/peach colors on the right side of the tree trunks. I made sure to use a warm color rather than a pale peach....just because it is getting sunlight doesn't mean it will be lighter...make it warmer and it will look sunnier!
Here's another thing to try to get a sunnier painting.....WARM UNDERPAINTINGS!

A warm underpainting with thinned acrylics
Try toning your paper with a warm color such as yellow or orange. The warmth of these colors will peek through your pastel and give a nice bright and sunny feeling.  I took it a step further and did my drawing with red paint. I allowed the red to show through in spots in the finished painting again giving a look of sunshine and warmth. You can use many mediums for toning your paper. I used very thin acrylic paint on Uart paper.

Tomorrow I will share the answer to another beach question. I hope you'll check out all of my Beach Week posts!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Karen for sharing your process...beach paintings are my favorite!

mark smith said...

Karen, thanks once again for sharing your painting knowledge. I make a point of following your blog because I always learn something new!

Karla said...

Such a beautiful painting!!! And Thanks for the great tips!

Karen said...

Thank you all for the comments. I hope you come back for more Beach Week posts!!